(Update: CBS denies the Klingons in “Star Trek: Discovery” are based on Trump supporters. See the story here.)
“Star Trek” has never been apolitical. The original sci-fi series was one of the most racially diverse on TV and featured the first interracial small-screen kiss. So it’s not a surprise then that CBS All Access’ upcoming “Star Trek: Discovery” will also be reflect the political divide in America in the era of President Donald Trump.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Aaron Harberts described the new series as “a commentary on our own divided nation — in terms of Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters” — with the Klingons playing a key role that he hints might reflect the views of POTUS’ base of support.
“The Klingons are going to help us really look at certain sides of ourselves and our country,” co-showrunner Aaron Harberts told Entertainment Weekly, noting that the bulk of “Discovery” was written around the time of last fall’s election. “Isolationism is a big theme. Racial purity is a big theme.”
“The Klingons are not the enemy, but they do have a different view on things,” he told the magazine. “It raises big questions: Should we let people in? Do we want to change? There’s also the question of just because you reach your hand out to someone, do they have to take it? Sometimes, they don’t want to take it.”
“In times of stress and conflict it can bring out the best of us and the worst of us,” said the other showrunner, Gretchen J. Berg. “But it ultimately brings out the best in our Starfleet officers.”
Harberts added that as shooting continues, the escalating conflict in North Korea escalates will also be taken into account.
“North Korea is in our thoughts as we finish the series,” he said. “What began as a commentary on our own divided nation — in terms of Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters — has blown out to North Korea and how we’re right on the brink. [The U.S. is] actually right at the place where Starfleet finds itself in episode one and we couldn’t have anticipated that happening.”
“Discovery” follows First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) as she discovers what it means to be a hero. She is the first woman of color to lead a “Star Trek” franchise, which in itself is a political choice.
“Discovery” premieres on CBS All Access on Sunday, Sept. 24 and will be followed by the premiere on the CBS network.